The risks caused by pesticide use for human health and nature are one of the major challenges for agricultural policies. Despite their high potential to contribute to better policies, economic instruments such as pesticide taxes are rarely used in the current policy mix.
In this paper, co-authored by N. Möhring, T. Dalhaus, and T. Böcker, we combine current discussion on pesticide policies in European countries with new insights from recent economic research to provide an outline for better pesticide policies to policy makers and stakeholders.
A particular focus is laid on
- the potential effectiveness of pesticide taxes,
- the use of tax returns,
- the relevance of accompanying measures to create leverage effects and
- the alignment with policies on risk management, fertilizer use and conservation agriculture.
We show that differentiated taxation schemes have a high potential to reduce risks caused by pesticide use and that the targeted re-distribution of tax revenues in the agricultural sector is crucial to create leverage effects on pesticide use and to increase the acceptability of pesticide taxes.